Cricket minnows Oman smash Ireland in World Cup Qualifier
Oman's five-wicket win puts them in second place in Group B on the same points as cricket powerhouse Sri Lanka. As a team, they are ranked 20th in the world.
Only two of the 10 teams taking part in the three-week qualifier tournament will play in the World Cup, held in India in October and November.
The on-form sultanate play the UAE on Wednesday with Oman chasing 227 runs at the time of publication.
Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood, who scored 59 runs in the game, said it was an "honour" to lead the sultanate to their first victory over Ireland, the fourth highest ranked team in the tournament.
"If we continue like this, some more results will be in our favour," he said according to AFP.
"It was a collective and combined performance, which we need to beat a good side. We came here to go there (to India) and play."
Hear Oman's Jatinder Singh envision the brand of cricket Oman as a team prescribe at the global stage and express the mission of the #MeninRed at the @cricketworldcup Qualifiers! 🎯 🏏 🇴🇲— Oman Cricket (@TheOmanCricket) June 20, 2023
🔗 https://t.co/bjcTTqxhUt to watch the full Press Conference! 🎥#OmanCricket… pic.twitter.com/6yOBjpGiqr
Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said the shock defeat was "disappointing" but also "didn't take us by surprise".
"It's a long tournament. We need to get back into it pretty quickly," he said.
Oman and the UAE - which has also hosted domestic Pakistan games - have poured resources into cricket in recent years and together hosted the T20 W0rld Cup in 2021 amid the Covid-19 crisis.
On the day of the Ireland game, Pankaj Khimji, head of Oman Cricket, urged his team to continue their recent successes.
"Today, it is a new Oman. It is no longer the squad of 2005 and 2009 when the players faced totally a new ball game while playing abroad as we did not even have a turf pitch then," he said, according to cricexec.com